Here's why you need to pay more attention to marketing personalization. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s why you need to pay more attention to marketing personalization. Source: Shutterstock

Poor marketing personalization could cost you 38pc of your customers

CUSTOMERS have come to expect a certain level of personalization when it comes to marketing. Advancements in technology not only make this possible but also incredibly affordable to do.

However, it seems as though marketers are falling short on expectations — and losing customers as a result.

According to a new Gartner study, brands risk losing 38 percent of customers because of poor marketing personalization efforts.

“While most marketing leaders continue to strive for one-to-one personalization, achieving this type of tailored messaging falls short, causing most personalization efforts to fail,” said the study.

Creating personalized messages and experiences requires intimate knowledge of customer journeys, relevant content that drives action, and technology that helps deliver and measure experiences.

Hence, brands need to be extremely thoughtful in how they personalize their content today.

“Instead of utilizing every piece of customer data available, brands should focus on showing customers you can help them first, then layering in the right balance of data to boost message relevance, without making things too personal,” advised Gartner Managing VP Martha Mathers.

Gartner research shows that the concept of providing “tailored help” to consumers offers a significant opportunity for brands to deliver tangible customer value in the forms and functionalities consumers seek.

“We define ‘tailored help’ as a message or messages designed to provide valuable assistance or support while using as few data dimensions as possible to thread the very tough needle between too inaccurate on one hand and too creepy on the other,” said Gartner Distinguished VP Brent Adamson.

According to Gartner’s survey, 88 percent of consumers reported not receiving “tailored help.”

Customers also agreed that using “tailored help” messaging increases the predicted impact of the commercial benefit index (e.g., brand intent, purchase, repurchase and increased cart size) by 20 percent.

Here are some tips from Gartner for marketers looking to create ‘tailored help’ content for customers:

# 1 | Marketing teams need the right skills

According to Gartner, 74 percent of marketers report they struggle to scale their personalization efforts.

Hence, in order to fine-tune an organization’s marketing personalization skills, it must hire, train and develop key competencies such as:

  • The ability to understand consumers’ micro-behaviors
  • Knowing individual consumer preferences for trigger-based messages
  • Producing content that can be versioned to meet a wide variety of consumer profiles and triggers
  • Mining non-traditional data and applying creativity to analytics

# 2 | Bite-size content works best

Sixty-five percent of marketers said they “feel overwhelmed by the need to create more content to support personalization.”

To effectively manage expectations and deliver on objectives, marketers need to create personalized content that is broken down into smaller components based on defined messages or purpose that contributes to a larger experience.

# 3 | Get more out of data

Personalization programs thrive on data, but juggling personalization with consumer’s privacy concerns is a challenge.

To overcome this, brands need to rethink their data collection, notification, and deployment strategy, or risk losing consumer trust and attention.

Leading companies utilize their brand sites as the primary method of data collection, maintaining control over customer datasets, and enabling customers to consent to usage.

# 4 | Be careful about using technology

According to Gartner, two-thirds of B2C marketers report they are expected to show results from their personalization investments in less than a year.

Despite growing pressures to show results and generate returns on personalization investments, marketers need to exercise caution when investing in personalization tools — especially if they lack the data foundation or internal resources to fully leverage the solution.

Building the business case and organizing customer data to support the personalization tool will take time.